Common Problems and Their Signs: Part Two

The purpose of this article is to review the common problems that affect the horse, and to highlight their clinical signs.

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In the April issue, the cover story began our study of common problems that can affect your horse. Those included the oral cavity, eyes, GI system, and respiratory system. The ability to recognize abnormalities depends on a person’s knowledge of what is normal; the greater someone’s knowledge of normal anatomy, physiology, behavior, and environment of a given animal, the more likely that person is to recognize subtle differences that might be the beginning of a disease process.

In addition to having knowledge of the basics, one must develop strong powers of observation. The inability of the horse to communicate directly is the greatest hurdle we have to overcome as care givers. The purpose of this article is to review the common problems that affect the horse, and to highlight their clinical signs. Most of the diseases mentioned in this article have had entire articles devoted to them, so more information can be obtained from previous editions of The Horse. In this article, problems are grouped by the organ system affected.

(Many sections of this article are adapted from the 128-page book I wrote entitled Understanding Equine First Aid and produced for The Horse Health Care Library. ) is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

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Written by:

Michael A. Ball, DVM, completed an internship in medicine and surgery and an internship in anesthesia at the University of Georgia in 1994, a residency in internal medicine, and graduate work in pharmacology at Cornell University in 1997, and was on staff at Cornell before starting Early Winter Equine Medicine & Surgery located in Ithaca, New York. He was an FEI veterinarian and worked internationally with the United States Equestrian Team. He died in 2014.

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